Keeping Coutinho: Why FSG Broke the Bank to Keep it Empty.

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Coutinho stays.

That was the headline in the early hours of Friday morning.

Yes, the Spanish window closed 24 hours later, but the consensus was that, true to their word, Liverpool weren’t selling.

With fans threatening, “I want Lemar, Keita and Van Dijk, or #FSGOut;” supporters have often accused Liverpool’s owners of being reluctant spenders; more concerned with the Boston Red Sox than Liverpool Football Club.

We didn’t sign Van Dijk. We didn’t sign Lemar. We didn’t even sign Keita, despite securing his services for next season.

But FSG did something more important: they sent a message.

Coutinho’s main reason for leaving was to go to a “top club.” And who could blame him? At the time, Liverpool had qualified for the Champion’s League for the second time in eight years, hadn’t won a major trophy since 2006 and, for almost thirty years, failed to win the league title.

To compound issues further, Liverpool had won just one trophy in the last ten years; the Carling Cup in 2012.

Barcelona, on the other hand, had won six league titles, five Copa del Reys, three Champions Leagues and a host of other trophies in the last ten years alone.
There was no comparison.

The truth is, Liverpool had fallen short of their “big club” status since 2005; a status which should have plagued them longer had it not been for a miraculous turnaround in Istanbul, winning their fifth Champions League title.

Liverpool, despite the occasional trophy, had been in decline for over twenty years.
Project after project, rebuild after rebuild, Coutinho is yet to win a single trophy; despite being at the club for almost five years. Barcelona won several major trophies in the same time period.

For Coutinho, moving to Camp Nou wasn’t just desirable. It was necessary.

When Tom Werner and John Henry bought Liverpool in 2010, many referenced the infamous “Moneyball” theory championed with the Boston Red Sox (the process of buying overlooked – and therefore undervalued – players; building a team with maximum statistical output on minimal capital input).

Once these players fulfilled their potential, they could be sold at a premium with the money reinvested in the club.

But if “Moneyball” was an accusation thrown at FSG for “being tight” then, clearly, people haven’t been paying attention.

If “Moneyball” exists within the Premier League then it exists at the Emirates; selling players like Van Persie, Gael Clichy, Samir Nasri and Oxlade-Chamberlain for huge premiums on their original purchase price.

For Arsene Wenger, keeping Alexis Sanchez was “a huge price,” causing Arsenal to “sacrifice £60-70m.” For anyone making comparisons between Arsenal and FSG, the difference couldn’t be clearer: while Stan Kroenke views selling players as a religious duty and buying them a moral perversity, FSG recognise keeping Coutinho isn’t a sacrifice; it’s good business.

FSG haven’t been reluctant to spend money. They’ve been reluctant to earn it.

Philippe Coutinho is the perfect Moneyball player. Bought for just £8.5m in 2013, a bid fourteen times that value came from Barcelona just five years later. But FSG decided he wasn’t for sale.

The opportunity was there to make one of the biggest returns in sporting history. But they refused.

Instead, Liverpool’s ownership decided he was going nowhere, opting for a different kind of business model: Hardball.

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The only way to protect Liverpool’s “big club” status was to regain its position as a European heavyweight; able to retain its players and reject the advances of “bigger” clubs. Selling Coutinho would have achieved the opposite, causing lasting damage to the club’s image and damaging its reputation as a “big club.” Not sure? Just ask Barcelona. Neymar leaving was a huge embarrassment, made possible by a hastily-agreed release clause in his contract. £200m doesn’t repair the damage done by a star player forcing their way out of the club.

Imagine if, against the public assurances from FSG, Coutinho left. Every player; from Mane, to Salah, Firmino and Can would know that as long as they made enough noise, they could leave. They wouldn’t have to honour their contracts. They could leave whenever they wanted.

Can, like Neymar, is now insisting on a release clause in his new contract, knowing Liverpool’s stance on selling disgruntled players: “When we say no, we mean no.”
For exactly the same reason they refused to sell Coutinho, FSG will apply the same resolve to Can’s release clause: there won’t be one. They’d rather lose Can for free next summer than give in to non-committal player demands, setting precedents for worthless contracts and long-term instability.

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Which brings me back to Coutinho.

Coutinho’s move to Barcelona was never going to happen; not because Coutinho was irreplaceable but because the move was never about Coutinho in the first place. It was about Liverpool Football Club regaining its place in world football.

FSG are transforming Liverpool from a selling club to a club which isn’t bullied by the highest bidder; a club which goes toe-to-toe with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid; selling who they want, when they want, to whomever they want.
That is the true cost of keeping Coutinho.

Call it propaganda. Call it arrogance. But don’t call it stupid. By keeping Coutinho, FSG have paid £118m to send a message: Liverpool Football Club, is back.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Hahaha what apologetic drivel.. you are a fu##ing piece of work.. are you thick or just a blatent apologist.. what message has been sent? he is being sold in 10 months you numptie. just like the Suarez deal the message is very clear, you will get all our best players but you have to wait 10 months.. OOH what a message that is.. We are nothing but a slight inconience to the big clubs transfer plans, it has got nothing to do with the absolute tripe you have wrote, you would swear FSG had come off the back of a window of all windows.. FSG know fans like you are so THICK that keeping a player for a few months and then selling him for MORE CASH like Suarez and Tino is considered ambition.. They know only too well that next summer worse case scenario he will be worth the same but more likely a lot more given a CL season where he will be seen on the biggest stage coupled with being a kep player for Brazil in the world cup.. they will make MORE from selling him next year, that is it. they would have sold him this summer had the bid come in early in the window.. it has JACK to do with Liverpool being “back” were we “back” when we sold Suarez afer 12 months… I have read anything like it in my life.. you are a disgrace to the club. FSG have paid 118 million to send a message HAHA ye that its not enough money and they want more next summer.. you cant actually believe what you have just wrote.. we have had another JOKE of a window where as usual despite LIES of warchests are net spend was 29 million.. CL money has vanished and our top targets missed.. Keita secured NEXT summer safe in the knowledge that Tino will be going for 140 odd mill so spending 55 next summer wont be a problem.. fans like yu need kicking out of the club, you are either an FSG stoodge or a fuc##ng cancer to the club.. and PS Can will sign a new deal very soon with a clause.. FSG will not let any assit leave for free despite your romantic notions of FSG you dumb c##t, you really havent a clue.. FSG OUT FSG APOLOGISTS OUT

    • Positive hahaha its not true you clown.. its easy be positive when its all made up fairy stories, whats the next piece how signing Messi this summer showed FSG have great ambition!! EVERYTHING he has wrote is on the basis Tino will not be sold next summer or in fact at all… it totally contradicts his whole argument about them changing from being a selling club if he is sold and its common knowlegde that he will be ! they have just done what they have always done and delayed the sale to keep di##heads who know nothing about football like you and Tim nice but Dim happy.. im sure you were praising those American pieces of scum when they kept Suarez aswell.. where was he a year later for MORE CASH then they were offered.. what message did that send out? we wont be bullied, we are back bla bla.. since then Suarez and Sterling have been sold after the club was BULLIED by both players and their agents and Tino will be sold next summer to the club who wanted him this summer! nothing has changed you thick c##t its the Suarez situation all over again but ye are too dumb to see it.. Oh they sent out a message by rejecting bids!! THIS HAS ALL HAPPENED BEFORE AND NO MESSAGE WAS EVER SENT

  2. I actually had to read it and comment again I am so disusted by what you have just wrote, it is without a doubt the most shameless apologetic nonsense totally void of any reality designed PURELY to push a pro FSG agenda.. you should be ashamed of yourself Tim nice but Dim.. you do get that he is being sold next summer? you are aware then that it makes your whole article TOTALLY null and void.. everything you have wrote is only true if FSG maintain their stance and Tino NEVER leaves.. when they sell him next summer then everything you have wrote is just nonsense as it would contradict your delusion if us being back and showing we are not a selling club and the mighty FSG turning down the chance to make loads of cash because they want to “send a message” haha EVERYONE with a brain including Barca and Tino have know he will be allowed to leave next summer. making you the FSG plany look ridiculous.. im gonna save this page so I can come back next summer and laugh at your utter delusion. and you do know that keeping Sanchez was a sacrifice because he will leave for free.. do you honestly think FSG would have let Tino leave for free before accepting 70 million! Arsenal have showed way more ambition then we have in this window at that says something, by signing Lacazette and turning down 70 mil for Sanchez to let him leave on a free.. Tino has 5 years left on his deal! FSG turned it down because they know will sell him for more cash next summer so obviously thats not viewed as a sacrifice by them! you sir are a joke FSG OUT PRO FSG MEDIA OUT

  3. Give FSG a chance. Let’s see. The football is good to watch and we outplayed all top teams last year. Just lacked that XP to max it. This year stronger for sure.

    • Give them a chance, give them a chance!! are you fu##ing for real m8.. they are here almost a DECADE.. A DECADE.. they have overseen the most unsuccesful period in the clubs history and have failed almost totally in EVERYTHING football related.. THEY HAD THEIR CHANCE, longer then they deserved aswell the rotten c##ts.. they have improved every aspect of the club that benefited them and added value to their asset.. ALL things football however has been nothing short of embarrssing and fans like you or this Tim hack that not only continue to support them but write articles full of misinformation designed to glorify them deserve kicking out of the club.. you are supporting our demise.. ANY true fan would be demanding their exit.. they are an absolute an utter shambles.. Hicks and Gillette with better PR.. FSG OUT FSG APOLGISTS OUT

  4. Let us see this year. We were nearly gone but for their takeover. I’m a fan TD so don’t abuse. Everyone has views. Just because you have one doesn’t make it right or wrong. It is an opinion which is what makes football so great. Remember hodgson year. Dear god. We have come miles

  5. This Tommy kid is an absolute disgrace of a supporter. He writes on LFC websites criticizing all articles that he reads. The best is when he goes off on a temper tantrum and writes on the Liverpool Echo articles. He needs to be on some medication, anti depressants should about do it. It like he’s upset with how his life turned out. Go back to the hole that you crawled out from, fucking idiot!

  6. FSG saved us from going under, improved the stadium, has spent a lot of money on transfers and backed Klopp in the window. They are also building a new training ground. How can anyone not see the good they have done. How can you won’t FSG out when they saved Liverpool as a football club. Doesn’t make sense.

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